First national dairy study to get underway in 2015: Feedback needed from producers to determine focus

It is exciting news that in 2015 the first National Dairy Study of Canadian dairy herds will get underway, thanks in part to funding from the Dairy Research Cluster 2. This study will be similar in scope to the National Animal Health Management Systems (NAHMS) dairy studies that have been undertaken in the United States by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

NAHMS studies (1996, 2001, 2007, 2014) are well-known and respected in the US for providing information on management issues, disease prevalence and control, and production benchmarks.  However, the results of these studies are based on information collected from US producers. Since there are unique features to the Canadian dairy industry it became apparent there was a need for a study that was representative of the producers and farms in our own country.

It is essential that in the planning stage Canadian producers and their allied organizations/industries be consulted to establish the overall study objectives. This will result in a study that is reflective of the needs of those directly involved in the industry and encourage current and future participation.

We are strongly urging all producers and associated personnel to complete this 10-minute on-line survey available at:

http://fluidsurveys.com/s/DFC_PLC_Needs_Assessment/

The survey is voluntary, no identifying information will be collected, and the database and survey company are both Canadian.

Surveys must be completed by May 1, 2014. Once the survey is closed, the data will be summarized, analyzed and made available to the participating organizations. The results will influence the breadth and depth of the national study, the numbers of animals/farms that will be asked to participate and the focal areas of study in 2015.

Any questions can be directed to Dr. David Kelton na14slc@uoguelph.ca

(French version – jocelyn.dubuc@umontreal.ca)

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